Brain Pickings

Office Supply Art: Magical Mosaics Made of Unusual Objects


What Leonardo da Vinci has to do with film noir and the Guinness Book of Records.

We’ve already seen artists do incredible things with ordinary materials — paper, cardboard, currency, even toilet paper rolls. Today, we turn to the wonderful world of office supplies and look at five artists who work their magic on Dilbert’s scene.


Mixed media artist Mark Khaisman creates stunning collages by layer translucent packaging tape over Plexiglas panels to intersect a remarkably innovative technique with a hauntingly classic film noir aesthetic.

I started it like a traditional stained glass artist, but with tape I found I could continue my conversation with light, but in a more expedient manner.” ~ Mark Khaisman


Artist Eric Dhaig is a master of analog pixelation. His pushpin portraits are made of about 11,000 pushpins each, achieving remarkable photorealism while only using the basic colors commercially availble — red, yellow, blue, green, white and black. Dhaig refers to his portraits as “pictorial DNA” — seemingly simple sequences that, strung together, capture a complex person.



Staples may be among the obsolescence victims of the digital revolution, but to French artist Baptiste Debombourg they are much more than an utilitarian office staple. His incredible Renaissance-inspired staple murals take your breath away, each the soft, etheral sum of its 35,000 hard, jagged metal parts.



Saimir Strati‘s incredible nail mosaic of Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portrait isn’t just a phenomenal work of art, it’s a Guinness Book record holder for the world’s largest nail mosaic, weighing in at 400 kilograms — that’s 880 pounds — and measuring at 2×4 meters.



Aritst Peter Root’s Ephemicropolis made the rounds a few months ago, but it’s such an impressive feat it warrants a second look. Technically elaborate yet aesthetically minimalist, the project took 100,000 staples and 40 continuous hours to complete, creating a hauntinly futuristic micro-cityscape.

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